Light and Shadow - Death Valley National Park, California

The western United States has so many vast vistas that landscape photographers love to visit and capture on digital film. Many of the locations just scream to be captured in their entirety. In order to capture what we are experiencing, we often use wide-angle lenses or shoot panoramas. In fact, in my case, I believe that I see primarily wide (somewhat similar to some photographers "see" only in color while others "see" in black and white). Unfortunately, shooting only wide landscape photos results in missing quite a number of smaller photographic opportunities that are  part of the overall scene. Over the years, I have trained myself to get the wide, expansive shots and then work within the scene to select compositions that are equally dramatic in their own way. I do this by either moving around or using longer lenses (or both). Shooting from different perspectives, angles and height give a lot of choices once I get back from a trip.

This photo is from Death Valley at the popular Zabriskie Point. The view from the point is simply amazing at sunrise and qualifies as a large 180° vista. In the distance are some of the mountains of the Amargosa Range. In between the point and the mountains is a valley that has some seriously beautiful rock formations. After shooting the vista, I hiked down lower to get some of the details of the scene. I particularly liked the layers and details of the rock formations that were accentuated by the play of the morning light and shadows.